A simple metabolic boosting factor that is so often overlooked.
Losing body fat, staying energised and maintaining a fast, healthy metabolism relies on many factors. One of these simple, critical factors that is often overlooked, is eating balanced meals, regularly throughout the day.
If your tired, moody or not losing body fat then ask yourself…..
- How frequently do you eat throughout the day?
- Are your meals balanced with the right protein, carbs and fats?
- Do you eat within an hour of or so of waking?
Does this really make a difference? Oh It sure does.
Fat loss can be expedited if meals are eaten at frequent, regular intervals throughout the course of the day.
Why? This enables blood sugar levels to stay as even as possible.
An essential factor to understand, is that stable blood sugar levels promotes greater fat loss, hormonal balance and sustained energy.
If too many hours are left between meals blood sugar levels drop. In response to this, the body will send out hunger signals or start to crave sugars. When you start to feel hungry, your body is in fact wanting energy and needing to eat. Unfortunately, by the time this happens your next meal is unlikely to satisfy you and it makes sticking to a plan very difficult. You may not actually need more food, but your body is releasing stress hormones in an attempt to stabilise your blood sugar levels, and this will make you feel as if you need to eat more.
This is not good news – if you don’t eat regularly, blood sugar levels drop, your energy starts to crash, your focus goes out the window, and your mood plummets. You will feel like you have hit a brick wall.
Keeping meals evenly timed can keep everything stable and balanced. Energy and fat burning stays balanced, your mood stays constant and you are neither hungry, nor full.
ONE OF THE KEYS TO A HEALTHY, fast METABOLISM REALLY IS
AS SIMPLE AS FOOD FREQUENCY
BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION – WHAT DOES IT MEAN
Let me explain about blood sugar regulation and how it impacts fat burning, energy and mood.
Whilst eating the right Pro-Metabolic food is incredibly important, if you are not eating consistently throughout the day to balance your blood sugar, you’re going to experience highs and lows, peaks and crashes, which will result in stress hormones being released. This is never a good thing.
SYMPTOMS THAT OCCUR AS SOON AS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS START TO DROP
- Hungry even though you don’t need more food;
- Cravings for sweets or coffee.
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Energy crashes in the afternoon.
- Sleep issues and trouble falling asleep or broken sleep.
- Fatigue that is relieved by food.
- Feeling light headed, dizzy or shaky when due to eat.
- Foggy thinking – difficulty concentrating
- low energy and energy suddenly
- Frequent urination.
- Feelings of “hitting a wall”.
- Mood crashes and feeling low.
A LITTLE BIT OF BIOLOGY
Our cells need a steady supply of sugar (glycogen) for energy and thyroid hormone conversion. This is what creates our healthy fast metabolism (remember we need a healthy fast metabolism for fast fat burning and good energy). Our cells take in glucose and oxygen and cellular respiration (metabolism) occurs. When our cells have a STEADY supply of glycogen, our blood sugar levels remain balanced. When blood sugar is stable, so is energy, mood and fat loss.
An absence of glucose causes blood sugar levels to drop causing hypoglycemia that can result in the symptoms listed above. When we don’t have a constant supply of sugar, or our meals are unbalanced meals (too many carbs, not enough carbs, too much protein, not enough protein/fat), our cells become stressed and as a response blood sugar levels drop. This is our bodies mechanism to give us signals that we need food – but when this happens its often too late, and we play catch up.
Quite simply, when blood sugar drops, (you’ve left it too long between meals you have haven’t eaten enough carbs/sugars) the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline will increase, causing fat storage, inflammation, mood and energy crashes.
Glucose is also your major fuel for your brain. Your brain only runs on glucose so it makes sense that you begin to lose cognitive abilities and get irritable when you need fuel (sugar).
When you get foggy brain, your brain is talking to you. It’s telling you it needs more fuel.
WHAT HAPPENS OVER TIME FROM ELEVATED CORTISOL AND ADRENALINE
- Rapid Weight gain.
- Fat deposits in the midsection and face
- Suppressed immune function
- Reduced healing time
- Anxiety, irritability and short fused temper.
- Depression and mood disorders
- A flushed face
- Foggy thinking.
- Sugar cravings and increased appetite
- Bloated stomach and a puffy face
- Rapid crash in energy (hit the wall).
- Loss of libido
- Increased PMS and Menopausal symptoms
- High blood pressure
- Bruisng more easily
- Reduced immune function.
- Autoimmune issues
- Increased Estrogen
- Increased risk to a variety of cancers
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS…
(Remember we are talking about the release of cortisol and adrenaline all because you are
not eating the right balance of carbs, protein and fats OR
you leave way too long between meals, causing your blood sugar levels to drop)
So you haven’t eaten enough and your body need some fuel. Adrenalin is released to mobilise glucose from your liver and muscle tissue (where glucose is stored). If you are not eating the right carbs, or enough carbs or carbs have been depleted (excessive exercise) then cortisol is released to break down your muscle tissue to provide back-up glucose. This breakdown of muscle tissue is a further stress on your body and causes a degenerative catabolic state AND elevation of estrogen (another fat storing hormone)
Adrenaline also inhibits the conversion of thyroid hormone from T4 to T3. So now, because you haven’t eaten regularly (or enough) you have less active thyroid hormone, which slows metabolism and SLOWS FAT BURNING.
“Decreased blood sugar is a basic signal for the release of adrenal hormones.” – Dr Ray Peat
“When we don’t eat for many hours, our glycogen stores decrease, and adrenaline secretion is increased, liberating more glucose as long as glycogen is available, but also liberating fatty acids from the fatty tissues” – Dr Ray Peat
“Increased cortisol due to stress can shift the thyroid into a more inactive state, elevating reverse T3 levels rather than converting Free T4 to Free T3, which is important for glucose control as it affects the number of insulin receptors available and how receptive they are to insulin.”
HOW SIMPLE SUGARS (FRUIT AND JUICES) ARE THE SOLUTION
When you don’t eat the right simple sugars frequently throughout the day you are likely to experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia, which is anti-metabolic – slowing down metabolism and fat burning This eventually hyperstimulates your endocrine system, overburdens your liver, down-regulates T3, degenerates and wastes muscle, ages brain cells and weakens the immune system.
Fruits and fruit juices help modulate blood sugar and calm down the adrenal glands.
An interesting tip:
Did you know If you add about 1/4 tsp of sea salt to your fruit juice, this will raise your blood sugar to normal and lower damaging stress hormones. Salty fruit juice helps stimulate the conversion of T4 (inactive thyroid) to T3 (active thyroid hormone).
Sucrose will reduce cortisol and adrenalin (stress hormones), sparing protein and protecting muscle and glands (particularly the thymus which rules our immune system).
Carbohydrates from ripe fruits, honey, dairy products, eaten regularly and combined with a quality protein/fat, can fuel cells efficiently, keep blood sugar levels stable, lower adrenaline and cortisol, digest easily, spare muscle tissue, and support the production of the active thyroid hormone (T3) – boosting metabolism, fat burning and energy.
SO YOU ARE NOT EATING FREQUENTLY ….what happens
The simple act of not eating frequently, or enough of the right carbs at each meal, risks unbalanced blood sugar levels and puts you at risk for hypoglycaemia. This sets the stage for hormonal imbalance, mood disorders, autoimmune diseases and hypothyroidism which can make it basically impossible to lose weight.
I see this time and time again.
Dr. Broda Barnes talked about this in his book, “Hope For Hypoglycemia”. He discovered after seeing many people who had been turned away from their doctors (telling them either nothing was wrong with them or that they were clinically crazy – because they couldn’t lose weight or had serious health / mood issues( that it had more to do with blood sugar regulation and supporting the liver by supplying it with enough glucose for hormonal conversion.
Glucose is our cells’ primary and preferred energy source and is essential for thyroid hormone conversion (T4 to T3), metabolism, fat burning, mood and energy
Too many carbs, the wrong carbs, cause a surge of insulin resulting in high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. Insulin is subsequently released to convert the excess carbs into fat stores.
Dropping carbs or not balancing meals with carbs, protein and fat can play havoc with blood sugar
To take the thinking out of it for you I have prepared a number of Pro-Metabolic meal plan programs, in a variety of calorie ranges with the perfect ratio of carbs, sugars, protein and fats. This is the only way to ensure even blood sugar levels, constant fat burning and a roaring metabolism. I can promise you, it has never been so easy or so delicious.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Eat a balanced meal of the right carbs, proteins and fat within 1 hr of waking. Skipping breakfast will drop blood sugar levels fast, making it very difficult to catchup throughout the day. Eating breakfast will break the fast of the night and curb cortisol release. If you drink coffee, eating food with your coffee in the morning helps you offset the adrenaline response after you’ve consumed caffeine. Adding cream and gelatin to your coffee will slow down the adrenalizing effects of the caffeine. The fat from the cream and the protein from the gelatin will make your coffee a balanced meal, and prevent it impacting blood sugar levels. and then every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
- Eat frequently, balanced meals (of protein, carbs and fats) throughout the day – every 2-4 hours – your body needs all three macros to function optimally.
- Don’t eat carbohydrates or protein alone as that tends to cause hypoglycemia. Eg. Eat cheese with fruits, OJ with gelatin, yoghurt with honey, milk with fruit, etc.
- Your carb count should always outweigh protein count.
- Favour simple sugars (disaccharides) as your carb source. Disaccharides are composed of fructose and glucose found in fruits and juices. Fruits and juices provide a more stable delivery of fuel to the cells. Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin and the glucose is used as immediate energy.
- Include gelatin with muscle meat meals. The amino acid Glycine inhibits lipolysis thus stabilising blood sugar.
- Have a snack before bed. This helps regulate stress hormones as you sleep. Calcium, salt, carbs, protein, saturated fats will all assist with sleep. I recommend milk/yoghurt with honey and salt.
- Eat if you start to feel hungry, your temperatures drop, or you start to feel irritable or hit the wall.
- Meal prep and plan ahead. A simple concept but it has saved many a blood sugar crash.
- Fuel your workouts This is important because blood sugar levels drop when you workout. I recommend an easy to digest meal of protein and carbs 30-60min before and after you train
Stable blood sugar is essential for hormonal balance, stress management, quality sleep, and optimal health to prevent fat storage. Life is a far happier, healthier place when everything is balanced.
EXCESS WEIGHT WILL quickly and easily come off when your metabolism and thyroid and liver are working efficiently. The right foods, in the right amounts at the right times will achieve this.
If you want help working this out, I have done the work for you and created a series of Pro-Metabolic meal plans – balanced, delicious and nourishing.
A few quotes from Dr RAY PEATS RESEARCH
“The first reaction to a decrease of blood glucose, at least in healthy individuals, is to increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, with an increase in adrenaline, which causes the liver to release glucose from the glycogen stores. The effect of adrenaline on the liver is very quick, but adrenaline also acts on the brain, stimulating CRH, which causes the pituitary to secrete ACTH, which stimulates the the adrenal cortex to release cortisol, which by various means causes blood sugar to increase, consequently causing the sympathetic nervous system activity to decrease. Even when the liver’s glycogen stores are adequate, the system cycles rhythmically, usually repeating about every 90 minutes throughout the day…With advancing age, most tissues become less sensitive to adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous stimulation, and the body relies increasingly on the production of cortisol to maintain blood glucose.”
“An immediate reaction to hunger is to secrete adrenalin, which draws glucose from the liver and fats from the fatty tissues. When the liver’s glycogen is depleted, cortisol is produced to mobilize amino acids from muscles and other tissues, to provide energy.
“When our glucose (glycogen) stores have been depleted, we convert our own tissue into free amino acids, some of which are used to produce new glucose. The amino acids cysteine and tryptophan, released in large quantities during stress, have antimetabolic (thyroid-suppressing) and, eventually, toxic effects.”
“When sugar isn’t available in the diet, stored glycogen will provide some glucose (usually for a few hours, up to a day), but as that is depleted, protein will be metabolized to provide sugar. If protein is eaten without carbohydrate, it will stimulate insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar and activating the stress response, leading to the secretion of adrenalin, cortisol, growth hormone, prolactin, and other hormones. The adrenalin will mobilize glycogen from the liver, and (along with other hormones) will mobilize fatty acids, mainly from fat cells. Cortisol will activate the conversion of protein to amino acids, and then to fat and sugar, for use as energy. (If the diet doesn’t contain enough protein to maintain the essential organs, especially the heart, lungs, and brain, they are supplied with protein from the skeletal muscles. Because of the amino acid composition of the muscle proteins, their destruction stimulates the formation of additional cortisol, to accelerate the movement of amino acids from the less important tissues to the essential ones.)”
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